Yara International and BASF Group announced that they’ll be joining forces to build a “world-scale” ammonia plant at BASF’s site in Freeport, Texas.
According to a press release, Yara will own 68 percent of the plant, while BASF will own the remaining 32 percent.
The plant will have the capacity to produce about 750,000 metric tons of ammonia a year. Each company’s take-away from the facility’s production will be in accordance with their investment and ownership.
The plant will tap into what some industry forecasters have predicted will be a burgeoning ammonia market in the coming years, with global capacity reaching nearly 250 million tons by 2018 — led by strong growth in China, the Middle East and the U.S.
Not only that, the plant will use hydrogen as a raw material, which they say will reduce capital expenditures, maintenance and carbon dioxide emissions significantly.
“Through our joint investment with Yara, we can take advantage of world-scale production economics and the attractive raw material costs in the U.S. We will thus strengthen our Freeport Verbund and the competitiveness of our polyamide 6 value chain in the region,” said Wayne T. Smith, member of the board of executive directors at BASF SE, which is responsible for the chemicals sector.
Founded in Norway, Yara specializes in fertilizers and “crop nutrition programs,” with sales that extend to 150 countries.
BASF, the world’s largest chemical company, has a portfolio that includes chemicals, plastics, performance products, oil and gas, and more. In 2013, BASF’s sales reached about $74 billion.
KBR, Inc. in Houston was given a turnkey contract for the engineering, procurement and construction of the plant. It is slated for completion by the end of 2017.